How Big a Ol' Boy Are Ye?

By Polly


Category: slash only because there's mention of an established relationship.

Rating: PG for language

Notes: Mary Pauline has been rambling in my ear for weeks. I wrote something for the first line challenge, didn't like it, and shelved it, only to have Mary Pauline start nagging me again when the makeover challenge came up, because she made it very clear that she ain't never gonna get one o' them fancy makeovers, but that's not what the story is about so I don't know why she doesn't shut up. Anyway. The title is a bit of Oklahoma humor - we have a local DJ who's made it kinda big locally (he's even got a slot machine named after him at the Creek Indian casino!) with a character named Roy D. Mercer who telephones people, threatens to open up a can of whoopass on them, then asks them 'how big a ol' boy are ye, anyway?'


"Mrs. Rainwater, I'd like to take your statement now," thet cute lookin' Deteckative Rafe says and I crossed mah arms and give him a considerin' stare cuz truth is, not a whole buncha folks voluntarily asts me to tawk bein' as how I tend to run on a bit, course I knowed enuff police percedure to know whut he needed to know but it wuzn't like me to try to reestrain mahself in the presence o' willin' listeners, haha. I'd met Rafe a time or two but I din't zackly know him well. I knowed he wuz Henri Brown's partner, though, which made him good people in mah book and everbody spoke of him quite highly.

"This here jest 'tween us, chile, or ye gonna tape reecord it?"

"This is just a preliminary statement, ma'am. Tomorrow we'd appreciate it if you could come down to the station and give a formal statement."

"Well, all righty then, but I'd jest as soon begin at the beginnin', okay? And ye might wanna keep the innerupshuns down to a minimum if'n ye 'spect to git outa here any time tonight." I'd already give up on mah sleep and I knowed as soon as the rest of 'em showed up I wuz prob'ly gonna have to repeat this tale six or eight times.

"Yes, ma'am."

"It happened like this. Raylene - ye know Raylene, thet's mah baby girl, Daryl's wife - tawked me and Bubba - Bubba's mah husband - inta movin' up here to Cascade when she found out she wuz pregnant with twins. Laws, I like to fell out my damn houseshoes cuz ain't nobody on either side o' the fambly ever had twins afore so we wuz purty excited. Daryl and Raylene hadn't been married but a year or so which I thought wuz kinda early to start a fambly but sumtimes the Good Lord moves in mysterious ways His wunders to behold. I'll tell ye what the wunder wuz right now and that wuz gettin' me and Bubba outa Arkansas. I din't mind comin' to help out with the babies, don't get me wrong, cuz 'tween you and me Raylene din't know nuthin' bout babies whut with her bein' the baby and all herself. Natchurly she wuz skeered and Daryl, bless him, din't know nuthin' bout 'em either and nuthin' agin Daryl's mama Joan but thet woman's so hell-bent on her career she wuzn't never likely to be no help speshully since she ain't too crazy bout Raylene to begin with.

"Now, I wuzn't patickly wild bout livin' in Cascade bein' as how it's s'posed to be the most dangerous city in 'Merica but thet ain't my main complaint with it. Thet is the fack thet it rains so damn much here and it don't rain like this in Arkansas, not that it don't rain in Arkansas but it's one rainy day or two at the most and then it's over fer a stretch but here it's damn near a daily thang. We still went on and moved up here fer Raylene's sake and mine, too, bein' as how Bubba wuz newly retired - deppity sher'ff, ye know - and he wuz makin' me prishiate why my own dear departed Mama hit the bottle when she had to spend too much time 'round Daddy. I kinda felt like if'n I wanted to hang on to mah sanity I might orta find me sumpin' to do and ye can bet becomin' Grammaw to twins did ackshully fill up quite a good bit o' my time.

"And it's a funny thang but when word gets out that yore a reeliable babysitter seems like everbody and their dawg wants to know if'n ye'll watch their kids too which I din't rightly mind cuz I had more'n my share o' brothers and sisters and raised up a boatload o' kids o' my own to boot so havin' a houseful o' the little ankle biters jest made me feel right at home which I'm tellin' ye to 'splain how it is I done come to be the appointed watcher fer whut feels like half the Cascade PD sumtimes and a few others asides not thet I'm complainin'.

"This paticklar evenin' I had four o' the little yard apes on mah hands. They's ginerlly all good kids but even good kids kin shore drive a body 'round the bend. I had Daryl and Raylene's twins, Little Simon and JJ - ye seen 'em, ain't ye? They's jest the cutest little boys but they's awful hard-headed which I can't deny they prob'ly got from their grammaw. I wuz also wartchin' Henri Brown's boy Kareem and purty baby Stephie. Thet Kareem is a sweet-natured boy, ain't he? Six years old, looks jest like his daddy, too, got them same big old chipmunk cheeks and them sleepy eyes thet might make a person thank he ain't payin' attenshun but I know better. I got me a powerful fondness fer Kareem cuz he gits in there and keeps the twins from tearin' each other's haids off plus he seems to have a calmin' affect on Stephie, too, and it don't hurt none thet his daddy looks an awful lot like my first boyfriend but I'd jest as soon ye didn't tell Henri thet.

"Stephie, now thet's Jim and Blair's niece, ye know. They up and recommended me to Jim's brother Stephen and I don't rightly mind wartchin' her even though she tends to be a might cranky which I reckon is due to thet centennial thang all y'all thank I don't know nothin' 'bout but I'm here to tell ye, don't much get by Mary Pauline Rainwater. It jest so happens thet my own granddaddy knowed a little bit about the medicine path - thet's how he put it, he said don't call him a shaman cuz shaman wuz a foreign word and don't call him a medicine man cuz anybody what called hisself a medicine man couldn't be trusted but if somebody tole ye they knew a little bit about the medicine path then ye orta keep in mind they might know an awful lot more than they's sayin' and my granddaddy shorely did happen to know quite a good bit and he tole me stories 'bout tribal guardians with eyes like eagles and ears like bats but I din't never let on to y'all like I knowed anything which is the easiest way to learn stuff if'n ye ast me speshully if ye has good ears yoreself which I do. It din't take me long to figger out thet baby Stephie's got better'n average hearin' like her Uncle Jim plus thet child wuz prone to some turrible diaper rash till her Uncle Blair taken Stephen aside and tole him whut she needed. And I gotta give mahself credit cuz I's the one whut cleared it up usin' one o' granddaddy's old Indian remedies although it taken me a few days cuz I couldn't git Stephen to go along with it when he had her at home. Shore, it looks turrible puttin' ground up dirt dauber nests on a baby's raw butt but it's a nachural fack thet it clears up a bad diaper rash near 'bout overnight.

"So anyways, I like to NEVER got them kids settled in bed and I wuz shore grateful I din't have Big Simon's little baby and wuzn't thet a shocker to everbody but speshully Daryl cuz he still don't know whut to thank 'bout his kids havin' an aunt younger than they is 'course we're used to thet kinda thang in Arkansas so it din't bother Raylene none but jest 'tween ye and me, it shore put Joan Banks' nose outa joint and anyway I guess ye know Megan's mama is in town to visit. She flied all the way out from Down Under to see her grandbaby so I din't have Nanette too which turned out to be a good thang, I reckon."

"Mrs. Rainwater-"

"I know, I know, ye wanna know whut happened tonight. I'm gittin' to it, chile, but ye needs a bit o' background on this or ye ain't gonna b'lieve me when I tell ye and ye ain't gotta worry thet I'm gonna pass on any o' this centennial stuff in mah statement tahmorrow. Thang is, I wuz wartchin' thet crazy Hextreme Makeover show when I heared a noise 'round by the kitchen door. Now, it jest so happened thet baby Stephie had been even more crabby then usual which sorta give me the idear thet sumpin' wuz gonna happen which I'm sayin' cuz I don't want ye to thank I sits around with an iron skillet in mah hand ready to put a hurt on folks. Ye gotta realize thet Stephie is a purty good barometer all by her little self and since ye ain't reecordin' this I'll tell ye when I heared thet noise then heared a mountain lion growlin' I figgered right quick we's in danger somehow. Shore I coulda woke Bubba up but it weren't nuthin' I couldn't handle mahself."

"A mountain lion?"

"Never mind. The point is, and I do have one, I wuzn't zackly caught flat-footed on this here mess and the fack of the matter is, even if I hadda been I still coulda kicked thet man's ass cuz he didn't know who the hell he was fuckin' with, pardon my French, when he 'lected to break into MY house, by Gawd. Why, my aunt Faye Ellen once shot a feller full of rock salt fer tryin' to set fire to her trailer porch and I don't mean he s'prised her, I mean, she knowed he wuz comin' and she dressed all up in black and hunkered down in the yard 'hind a lawn chair in the dark with her shotgun and waited on him to show up with the gas can in his hand 'fore she let loose on his ass cuz back home it weren't no callin' the police ye jest handled these thangs yoreself and thets the kind of people I'm kin to, Deteckative. She wuz sixty-two when thet happened, by the way."

"Yes, Ma'am. So you heard a noise-"

"And I went in the kitchen with mah skillet in mah hand and Gawd never made a finer weapon fer a motivated woman so when the lock popped open on thet back door and thet first fool come in I jest nachurly let him have it upside his damn fool haid and when the second fool come in wavin' a gun I whomped him a good'un, too. And then I whomped 'em both a second time each jest on gen'ral principles cuz they woke thet baby up with that shit and it jest plumb pissed me off and if there's one thang an Arkansan woman knows how to do it's open up a can of whoop ass. Bubba's up there now calmin' Stephie down. He's a dab hand with a baby which he orta be considerin' he's fathered half a dozen or so.

"So's after I tied them fools up I called over to Major Crime cuz I figger they din't pick mah house by accident which means they's either after one o' the kids or me and Bubba and we ain't been in Cascade long enuff to make enemies lest yore gonna count a few assorted cab drivers. I tole one he drives like my mama rest her soul on her way back from the bootleggers and he wuzn't even drunk and din't have an excuse. He din't take that too well."

"No ma'am," Rafe said with whut I thought wuz a good try fer a straight face but I could tell he wanted to laugh and thet's all right. Better to laugh than cry over it and I figgered them fools wuz gonna corner the market on tears by time Big Simon, Jim, Blair, and Henri got done with 'em.

By Gawd.


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